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Kobe Bryant to be posthumously inducted into Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame

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This was Kobe Bryant’s first year of eligibility. Official announcements will reportedly be made on Sunday.

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NBA Finals Game 7: Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Lakers legend Kobe Bryant is officially set to be posthumously inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame later this year:

Bryant and his daugher, Gianna, were among the nine people killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas on Jan. 26. He is survived by his widow Vanessa and his three daughters Natalia, Bianka and Capri.

In his 20 years career with the Los Angeles, Bryant won five NBA championships, two finals MVP, four All-Star game MVPs, two scoring championships, one league MVP, and he was named to the All-Star team 18 times, which is tied for the most times in league history. He also ended his career ranked third on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, although he’s since been passed by LeBron James, who moved past Bryant on the all-time scoring list the day before Bryant’s death in Bryant’s hometown of Philadelphia.

Outside of his career with the Lakers, Bryant won two Olympic gold medals with USA Basketball in 2008 and 2012. He famously scored 20 points in the gold medal game against Spain at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett will also be part of the 2020 Hoops Hall, per Charania. Bryant had his fair share of battles with Duncan and Garnett, highlighted by the 2008 and 2010 NBA Finals between Garnett’s Celtics and Bryant’s Lakers. Garnett may have gotten the best of Bryant in 2008, but Bryant got the last laugh in 2010.

The Basketball Hall of Fame ceremony is typically held in September, but that could change as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In any case, someone will have to give a speech on Bryant’s behalf. Some possibilities include Michael Jordan, Shaquille O’Neal, Phil Jackson, and Vanessa.

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